Linda Wood Rondeau

Snark & Sensibility

A LIFE REDEEMED
Friday, October 1, 2021 by OLIVIA RAE

PLEASE WELCOME

OLIVIA RAE

TO

FICTION FRIDAY

READERS WANT TO KNOW

What inspired you to write in the Elizabethan Era? 

A Life Redeemed is a sequel to A Life Renewed, though you don’t have to read the first book to understand the second one. I just felt the sister of our hero in book one needed her own story. In this book, Audrey Hayes is sent by Queen Elizabeth to Scotland as a spy to find out if Laird Gavin Armstrong is part of a plot of zealots who plan to put Mary of Scots on the English throne. The queen also has a mysterious interest in Gavin’s son, Thomas. The story has many twists and turns, and of course, a romance and a surprise ending.  I find the Tudor period in English history fascinating. The first book deals with a secret of Queen Mary Tudor and this book deals with a secret of Queen Elizabeth I. I hope your readers will like traveling to Scotland as that is where the majority of book two takes place.

How did you manage your research for A Life Redeemed? What did you learn from your research?

Usually, research comes before I even start a book. It’s where many of my stories start. However, with A Life Redeemed, I knew I wanted to take my character to Scotland because when Queen Elizabeth came to the throne there was a lot of friction between her right to the English Crown and Mary Queen of Scots. There was also a lot of religious friction between the Catholic Church and the Reformed Church. Since this series deals with spies and secrets, it was the logical direction to go. As far as “Aha” moments, I would have to say, originally, I did not plan to bring John Knox into the story as he is a controversial person in his own right. However, in order to understand the struggle between the two countries and the different faiths, I could not leave him out of the story.  

You write in two different genres. Do you find preparation and research different for contemporary and historical or do you use the same approach?

I believe there is twice as much work in writing a historical as there is in writing a contemporary mostly because of the research, but there is research in contemporary fiction too. The problem with researching historical books is there is so much conflicting information because no one today was alive in the middle ages and Tudor England. You need to dig back to original documents as much as possible and consult experts on the time period and locations. Scottish history isn’t my forte. While I was writing A Life Redeemed, I found an expert in Scottish history that could answer all my questions and who read my manuscript before I even sent it off to my editor.  That was a huge help.

How are these genres similar?

I would say every story has to have a conflict. Developing believable characters that have a goal to reach is also necessary. When characters’ goals conflict then you have a great story be it set in the past or present.

Readers like to know an author's journey to publication. What’s your story?

It’s been a long one. I have been writing for close to thirty years. I didn’t start in Christian fiction. I guess I spent years chasing a dream that was not aligned with God’s will. I can even remember the time when one publisher told me I should be writing Christian fiction instead of straight romance. Of course, I didn’t listen right away. When I got stronger in my faith, I finally said, all right, Lord. Let's do this your way. So I changed my name and started walking humbly with my God. My first two Christian romances were published in 2015 and I have never looked back since.

Is there anything you wish you knew how to do or to do better?

Wow, what a loaded question. I’d say a lot of things. I am involved with Lutheran Church Charities Disaster Relief. Often, I help with hurricane clean-up. Last year I was asked to operate a mini-CAT. I was terrible at it. I now have a great deal of respect for those who operate heavy machinery.  I would love to learn to operate the CAT better and maybe work a bulldozer too.

What’s next?

I am working on book three of the Secret of the Queens series, A Life Reclaimed. Thomas, in A Life Redeemed, is all grown up, and boy, he still has a lot to learn. The book should be released by the spring of 2022.

Where can readers find you?

Website: http://www.oliviaraebooks.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/oliviaraeauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/oliviaraebooks

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/oliviaraebooks/

ABOUT OLIVIA RAE

Olivia Rae is an award-winning author of historical and contemporary inspirational romance. She spent her school days dreaming of knights, princesses and far away kingdoms; it made those long, boring days in the classroom go by much faster. Nobody was more shocked than her when she decided to become a teacher. Besides getting her Master’s degree, marrying her own prince, and raising a couple of kids, Olivia decided to breathe a little more life into her childhood stories by adding in what she’s learned as an adult living in a small town on the edge of a big city. When not writing, she loves to travel, dragging her family to old castles and forts all across the world.

Olivia is the winner of the Angel Awards, New England Readers’ Choice Award, Golden Quill Award, American Fiction Award, Illumination Book Awards, and the Southern Magic Award. She has also been a finalist in many other contests including the National Readers’ Choice Awards. She is currently hard at work on her next novel

MORE ABOUT A LIFE REDEEMED

Upon Queen Elizabeth’s order, Audrey Hayes travels to the borderlands of Scotland to learn where the fierce Laird Armstrong’s loyalties lie. Is he aligned with his mother’s English roots in support of the queen, or does he hold with the beliefs of his father, who wishes to see Mary of Scots on the English throne? The fate of Audrey’s family rests on her success in finding the answer.

After losing his lands in a wager and being betrayed by his kin, Gavin Armstrong entered a loveless marriage to obtain the funds to buy back his family home, Warring Tower. Now a widower, struggling against countless border wars, he is on the verge of losing his home and lands again. With few resources, he reluctantly makes another risky wager, one he cannot hope to win without trusting the secretive Audrey Hayes, a woman he suspects is an English spy.

As the two work together to save Warring Tower, their attraction to one another grows. But when Audrey finally gains the information she seeks for Queen Elizabeth, she realizes that the only way she can save her family is to betray the man she loves.

BUY LINKS:

Amazon:  https://amzn.to/3EloQTw

Kobo: https://bit.ly/2XO8iTb

Apple: https://apple.co/3A9TBZ8

Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/3lb9qYY

Target: https://bit.ly/3lgKvU6

 

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Comments

Olivia Rae From At 10/1/2021 10:49:44 AM

I hope you like the series, Lori. Thanks so much for your interest!

Olivia Rae From At 10/1/2021 10:46:34 AM

Thanks for your support, Laura, I am glad you really liked the series!

Laura Scott From Wisconsin At 10/1/2021 10:30:34 AM

Olivia's stories are amazing. She brings history and her characters to life! I highly recommend this series.

Lori From Wisconsin At 10/1/2021 9:47:11 AM

The book/series sounds so good, Olivia! I am a sucker for the Elizabethan period.

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